In which we pester Jo to tell us all about the month ahead until she caves and gives up the goods – but not without a few threats along the way . . .
‘What are you looking forward to?’ Molly and Olivia asked me – and then told me I had to actually write it down as you’re all desperate to know.
If I’d managed to get my act together last month, I could have told you how much I was looking forward to the British Fantasy Society’s annual convention Fantasycon, held last weekend in Peterborough, where many of the great and good of the fantasy and horror worlds discussed the state of the nation deep into the night (as evinced by the bar bill and a lot of yawning the next morning). Had I put pen to paper then, I would have waxed positively rhapsodic over the thought of seeing not just thirteen (yes! Thirteen!) Supermarine Spitfires doing an aerial display, but six actual flying Hawker Hurricanes (a fighter that ought to be at least as beloved as the Spitfire) – that was an amazing sight! But even more exciting – if that were even possible – was the aerial battle between a Sopwith Triplane and a Fokker DR1! Right there in the air! In front of me! You’ll be pleased to know I was not alone in humming the Bloody Red Baron’s theme tune at The Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow.
If I’d written this then, I’d have given you a sneak preview of the acquisition of Stephen Cox’s Our Child of the Stars – very excitingly nabbed for JFB in the teeth of some strong contenders – but you know about that, too.
So with no further ado, here’s what’s in store for me this month. Hallowe’en is fast approaching, so that means pumpkins to be carved and Alison Littlewood’s spooky new novel The Crow Garden published – and if you somehow missed her British Fantasy Award-nominated The Hidden People, out this month in paperback, throw that in the basket too; you won’t regret it.
Workwise, the autumn’s always exceptionally busy, with lots of final drafts and copy-edits due in. I have a pile of requests on my desk for sneak peaks of Andrew Caldecott’s Wyntertide, sequel to his wonderful Rotherweird, and later this month, Naomi Foyle will be delivering the final part of her Gaia Chronicles – I don’t think all you Astra fans will be disappointed. And just when you thought David Hair’s epic Sunsurge Quartet couldn’t get any more exciting . . .
And of course, there’s Frankfurt, one of the most important rights fairs of the year, so we’ve a busy roster of meeting-and-greeting as people stop over en route to and from . . .
At the very end of the month I’m having to endure more than twelve hours in the air (at least I know the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio, Texas, will be worth the effort). An Airbus might not be as much fun as a Hurricane or Spitfire, but I suspect it’ll be a lot more comfortable – so the lovely Jane Johnson will be accompanying @LitAgent Drury and me, in the form of her newest novel, Court of Lions. I’ve loved Jane’s historicals maybe even more than her fantasy novels, so I’m looking forward to diving into her Granada . . .
Then we’ll be into November – and fireworks!